Snip and Chip plan to reduce number of horses in Dublin
stallions are to be gelded and microchipped under a new Snip and Chip scheme to tackle the number of horses in the capital.
Up to 100 stallions will be gelded as part of a pilot scheme which, if successful, will be rolled out to the rest of the country.
Owners are being invited to submit their animals for the €100 operation which will also include the micro-chip and a horse passport.
The scheme is being organised by the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) in cooperation with the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine and with the support of Horse Sport Ireland.
Gillian Bird of the DSCPA said: "This is our response to the over-population of horses in Ireland.
"There is no control over breeding, and this brings down the breeding quality of the horses.
"Often there is in-breeding and the health of the horses suffers as a result."
Ms Bird said around 6,000 horses in the Dublin pound had to be destroyed last year.
She added that no one wanted male foals, and when these were born through uncontrolled breeding they were often abandoned or destroyed.
"Male foals become stallions that are unruly, can't be controlled and can be dangerous," she said. "We are targeting responsible owners who might not have got around to castrating the horses or who may have a problem with the cost."
Under the Snip and Chip scheme, a horse owner can contact the DSPCA who will send out a vet to assess the animal.
It is then collected and taken to the UCD veterinary hospital for the operation under a full anaesthetic and returned within 48 hours.
The initiative will be part-funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Snip and Chip will cost the horse owner €100, which includes the cost of the operation, implanting the microchip and passporting and registering the owner's details on the Horse Sport Ireland database.
Owners wishing to find out more and to register for the service should complete the application form on the DSPCA website at www.dspca.ie